Wednesday, September 26, 2012

10 Things to Do This Weekend Under $20

This weekend, enjoy German food at Oktoberfest, board a hay ride at a pumpkin farm or take a walk in Emery Park.

1. Great Pumpkin Farm Fall Festival (Clarence)

Time: Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10 a.m. to dusk
Cost: $5 adults, free for children under 3
More Information: Website

The Great Pumpkin Farm Fall Festival has something for everyone: pumpkin picking, tractor hayrides, a petting zoo, a magic show and pumpkin decorating. This weekend, the festival features a pumpkin weigh-off and a dog show.

The Great Pumpkin Farm Fall Festival is open through October 31st.

2. Springville Oktoberfest

Time: Saturday: 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Cost: Free
More Information: Website

The 7th annual Oktoberfest features live music, German food, European beers and contests for the best German costume and hot dog eating.

3. Marble Orchard Ghost Walk (Lewiston)

Time: Saturday: 7 p.m.
Cost: $12 adults, $6 children under 12
More Information: Website

Step back in time with this historical and educational Lewiston tour as The Marble Orchard Players take you in to the Village Cemetery. You'll learn about graveyard etiquette and tombstone symbols and see the unique personality of Lewistons rough-and-tumble frontier past as well as its present.

Walks occur on Saturdays in September and October.

4. Pumpkin Fiesta (Gasport)

Time: Saturday, Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $5 adults, $7 children
More Information: Website

This kids' event includes pony rides, hay rides, pig races, a castle labyrinth, and a bounce house. Food and drink options: fresh cider, homemade donuts, and a chicken BBQ.

5. Pumpkinville (Great Valley, near Ellicottville)

Time: Daily, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Cost: Free
More Information: Website

Take a hayride around the farm, through the woods and into the horse pasture to see ponies. Plus, meet farm animals, wander through a six-acre corn maze and mine for gems. You'll enjoy fresh milled cider, donuts, homemade fudge and old-fashioned kettle corn. You can also tour the antique cider mill.

Pumpkinville is open through October 31st.

6. National Alpaca Farm Days (Kendall, Brockport, Bergen, Churchville)

Time: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free
More Information: Website

A 30-mile trip through Alpaca Country will take you and your family on an adventure! Pick up a detective's notebook at any participating farm and find clues to solve the mystery. Along the way, you'll feed alpacas, see spinning and fiber crafting demonstrations, and learn why alpacas are bred.

7. Meet in the Center Fall Fest (Clarence Hollow)

Time: Friday: 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Cost: Free
More Information: Website

Live music, food, hayrides and artisan vendors at the four corners of Clarence Center and Goodrich Roads make for a family-friendly Friday night.

8. Be Active Erie County Walks - Emery Park (South Wales)

Time: Saturday: 9 a.m.
Cost: Free
More Information: Website

Walking is one of the best things you can do for your health: it's cheap, easy, and good for you.

In September and October, join "Be Active Erie County!" for walks in the Erie County parks sponsored by The Erie County Health Department and the Wellness Institute.

This week's walk is at Emery Park. Registration is at 9 a.m. and the walk begins at 9:45 a.m.

Walks are every Saturday through October 27th.

9. Oktoberfest in the Village (Williamsville)

Time: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Cost: Cost for food and drink
More Information: Website

Join the fun along Main Street at restaurants serving German food and drink for Oktoberfest. Catch the Oktoberfest kick-off party on Friday at 3:30 p.m. in the Village Hall, where free beer will be offered from the first keg. Chocolate and ice cream samples will be offered at Sweet Jenny's, where you can also try their fall ice cream flavors. Prizes and giveaways will take place throughout the weekend.

10. 1776, The Musical (Tonawanda)

Time: Friday, Saturday: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $14 pre-sale, $17 general admission, $15 seniors and students, $10 16 and under
More Information: Website

At the The Ellicott Creek Playhouse, John Adams fights a divided Continental Congress along with the aid of soft spoken Thomas Jefferson and outspoken Benjamin Franklin to declare our independence from England. The musical is based on the letters of John Adams and his wife, Abigail.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ask Us Anything: What Can I Do About Chronic Yeast Infections?

"I have been experiencing chronic vaginal yeast infections for about 2 years. Treatment with Diflucan provided only partial symptomatic relief. Treating with over-the-counter miconazole and clotrimazole vaginal creams controls the problem within 3 days, only to have it return in about 2 weeks.

I often wear a 'light days' sani-pad for mild stress incontinece and had been scheduled for pelvic prolapse repair using mesh until I read your article. Could the vagina being exposed to urine cause this problem? What can I do?"

Dr. Ali Ghomi Responds:

Persistent or recurrent vaginal yeast infection can be a challenging problem to resolve. Patients, such as yourself, feel usually frustrated having to make multiple visits to the doctor's office and take frequent medications.

It would be ideal to address the underlying problem and the cause of the yeast infection if one can be identified.

Based on the history provided, I suspect urinary incontinence has a significant role to play in the development of the yeast infection. The incontinence would have to be addressed. Otherwise, the constant moisture in the external genitalia would make one very susceptible to recurrent yeast infection.

With chronic use of anti-fungal medications, the yeast organisms might develop drug resistance and would not respond as before to medical therapy.

Although there has been huge controversy, and I might add rightly so, regarding transvaginal mesh repair, this should not prevent one from undergoing appropriate anti-incontinence and prolapse surgery.

Prolapse surgery can be performed without having to use transvaginal mesh. The mesh used to address incontinence, the so-called sling procedures, is very safe and considered the preferred way to treat incontinence worldwide.

— Dr. Ali Ghomi

Dr. Ghomi is the Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery and Chair of The Robotic Surgical Committee at Sisters of Charity Hospital. He is the only physician in Western New York who performs Sacrocolpopexy Prolapse surgery using the da Vinci® robot. Sacrocolpopexy is a proven “gold standard” procedure worldwide to repair severe pelvic prolapse. Click here to learn more about Catholic Health's OB/GYN services.

Dr. Ghomi sees patients at the M. Steven Piver, M.D. Center for Women’s Health & Wellness in Buffalo.

If you have a question about your health, click here to ask our experts.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What's Fresh for Fall: Healthy Recipes for Your Fall Table

When seasons change, so does the produce that you'll find at farmer's markets. Right now, the freshest produce in Western New York includes apples, broccoli, celery and grapes (click here for the complete list).

If you aren't sure how to use these ingredients or want to add variety to your menu, check out Catholic Health's Pinterest board. Our Recipes for Fall board features recipes approved by Deborah Richter, a registered dietitian at Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Campus in Cheektowaga.

Some of the recipes on our board:

Zesty Broccoli Casserole
Apple Coleslaw
Pumpkin Hummus
Toddler Muffins
Whole Wheat Penne with Broccoli,
Green Olives, and Pine Nuts

Celery, Walnut, and Parmesan Salad
Roasted Sweet Potatoes and

Warm Cinnamon Apples

How Healthy Are Your Recipes?

If you have another recipe in mind for your fall table but want to know if it's good for you, leave a comment with a link to the recipe, and a registered dietitian will review it and reply with her assessment.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Learning to Be a Leader: Kevin McCue's Book Picks

Whether you're a stay-at-home mom or climbing the corporate ladder, leadership skills can help you to achieve your goals more easily.

Fine-tune your powers of persuasion and empower yourself with these leadership books recommended by Kevin McCue, a Corporate Educator at Catholic Health.

Banishing Worries

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

Concern leads to worry and stress, making you feel overwhelmed and unable to move forward. Dale Carnegie, one of the pioneers of personal development, details a variety of strategies to analyze and overcome the many worries that come with modern-day life.

The book includes fascinating true-life stories of famous and not-so-famous people who share their strategies for overcoming worry and fear. This is truly one of the best books on the ever-present topic of worry!

Overcoming Fear

Feel the Fear…and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers, PhD.

We live in a turbulent time with precipitous change taking place on a daily basis. In this powerful book, Dr. Jeffers shares dynamic techniques for turning fear, indecision, and anger into power and action.

If you're doing something (or not doing something) out of fear, discover why you're afraid and learn how to stop being a victim and create a more meaningful life.

Being Persuasive

Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion by George J. Thompson and Jerry B. Jenkins

Learn how to respond, rather than react, to stressful situations and conflicts to produce remarkable results in your life, both in the workplace and at home.

Using the techniques in this book, you'll be able to speak and listen more effectively and enjoy the rewards that result from better conversations, such as improved relationships with your boss, co-workers and spouse or partner.

Managing Emotions for Better Relationships

Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships by Daniel Goleman

Social Intelligence demonstrates how personal and career success depends on the ability to manage emotions to cultivate harmonious and collaborative relationships.

Goleman explains why first impressions are often accurate, why some people have charisma and emotional power, and how to detect lies. By developing social intelligence, you will find more empathy and cooperation, in yourself and in others.

This New York Times bestseller is a leadership favorite.

Have you read any of these books? Are there any others that you'd recommend? Let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Apples in Autumn and Other Seasonal Produce

Don't settle for produce at the grocery store. Make shopping at the farmer's market a part of your weekly routine and enjoy fresher, longer-lasting foods while supporting Western New York farmers.

Here's what you can expect to see at the farmer's markets this fall:

Farmer's Markets 

  • The Downtown Country Market on Buffalo’s Main Street is held on Tuesday and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., starting May 17, 2012 through October 25, 2012.
  • The Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market is a producer-only market (all vendors grow or produce what they sell) on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This market is open through mid-December.
  • The University Community Market (999 Broadway ) at the UB South Campus (on Main Street at Kenmore Avenue) is open on Saturdays form 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October 13.
  • The Broadway Market (999 Broadway ) is an indoor market that operates year-round from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Saturdays.
  • The Clinton-Bailey Farmer’s Market on Clinton Street is open year-round. Through October, its hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday through Friday, and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. Starting November 1st, the market is open on Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Alden's Farmer's Market in the Alden Village Plaza runs run every Saturday through October 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
East Aurora
  • The Kenmore Farmer's Market on the corner of Delaware Rd. and Delaware Avenue is held every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. through October 26.
  • The Lancaster Village Market at 4913 Transit Road in Depew is held on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The market is open until October 29.

This information was compiled with the help of Deborah Richter, a registered dietitian at Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Campus in Cheektowaga and is a certified diabetes educator. She teaches diabetes education classes and provides outpatient nutrition counseling. She has helped her clients to lose weight, reduce their blood pressure and feel better about themselves through healthy eating choices.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ask Us Anything: What Can I Expect from My Counselor?

"I have seen a counselor and also spoken to friends who have gone to counseling, and we all seem to have had the same experience. The counselor doesn't give any input but instead encourages us to talk about our problems. This talking doesn't actually solve anything, as the counselor doesn't provide guidance, just asks questions.

How do you find a counselor who will do more than facilitate a discussion? Also, what is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist, and what is the best source to find them (including reviews)?"

Herb Weis, Ph.D., Chief Quality and Compliance Officer at Horizon Health Services, Responds:

Counselors vary considerably regarding how much direct guidance they offer.

It is important to understand that a counselors’ role is to help clients clarify their own feelings and thoughts to manage their emotions and make healthy life decisions. The counselor’s role is akin to that of the headlights on a car – illuminating the options but not directing the choices or managing the controls. Counselors often strive to avoid clients depending too much on them for guidance or advice.

However, counselors are responsible to present alternatives that clients may not recognize, provide cautions when potential choices are risky, and provide information when they determine that it would be helpful. In choosing a counselor, it is appropriate to ask what their approach is.

Psychiatrists are physicians who specialize in the diagnosis of mental illnesses and the prescription of medications to treat them.

Psychologists hold a doctorate in psychology, and specialize in the delivery of counseling or psychotherapy.

Often clients see psychiatrists for the prescription of medications in tandem with seeing a psychologist for psychotherapy.

There is no reliable source of ratings of psychiatrists and psychologists. The effectiveness of these clinicians is related both to their skills and client preferences. It is often wisest to ask your physician, family or friends for referrals and recommendations.

— Herb Weis, Ph.D.

Everyone struggles with day-to-day life challenges. At Horizon Health Services, they offer counseling services to help you recover from anxiety, depression and other mental health symptoms. Their goal is to improve your overall quality of life. Their mission states exactly that: Recovery. Changing Lives. Saving Lives. Horizon Health Services has offices in Erie, Niagara and Genesee counties, including at the Piver Center on the campus of Sisters Hospital.

If you have a question about your health, click here to ask our experts.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Judy Blume Surprised by Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Author Judy Blume has revealed that she was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer and underwent surgery in July.

Blume, author of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret was shocked by the diagnosis.

"I've never smoked, I exercise every day, forget alcohol - it's bad for my reflux - I've been the same weight my whole adult life. How is this possible? Well, guess what - it's possible," Blume wrote on her blog.

As Blume found, family history and lifestyle aren't the only risk factors for breast cancer. Others include:
  • Increased age; 77% of persons with breast cancer are over the age of 50
  • Dense breast tissue; when getting your mammogram, ask your radiologist if you have dense breast tissue
  • Menstruation that began at an early age (before age 12)
  • Not having children or having your first child after age 30
  • Experiencing menopause after age 55

Blume Advises Women with Dense Breast Tissue to Have a Sonogram

When breasts are dense, like Blume's, it is difficult to see abnormal areas on a mammogram. The author credits her radiologist for the early diagnosis.

"I have to thank Dr. S, the radiologist who's been doing my mammograms for 20 years. If she hadn't decided I should have a sonogram because of dense breast tissue we still wouldn't know. This didn't show up in a mammo or in physical exams, and I'm checked by doctors four times a year. Even the breast surgeon couldn’t feel this one. If you have dense breast tissue, ask your radiologist about having a sonogram."

Mammograms Still Important

Although mammograms are less effective in diagnosing breast cancer in women with dense tissue, the American Cancer Society (ACS) says that getting a mammogram is one of the best things a woman can do to protect her health. In fact, a mammogram can reveal if your tissue is dense and if further tests are needed.

The ACS recommends a baseline mammogram between the ages of 35 and 40 and yearly mammograms after age 40.

Click here to learn where you can schedule a mammogram in Buffalo and the surrounding areas.

Support Networks for Western New Yorkers with Breast Cancer

Blume has joined what she calls the Sisterhood of Traveling Breast Cells. "When it comes to breast cancer you’re not alone, and scary though it is, there’s a network of amazing women to help you through it."

Breast Health Navigator

For Western New Yorkers diagnosed with breast cancer, Catholic Health offers support in the form of a breast health navigator.

Our breast cancer navigator, Candice Gerrity, a Registered Nurse, can connect you to follow-up care and additional resources. Her services are free of charge and are available to all women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Click here for more information about this program.

Support Groups

Seeking out women who have had similar experiences with breast cancer can help you cope and result in lifelong friendships.

The Breast Cancer Network of Western New York maintains a list of breast cancer support groups in the Western New York area. Click here to visit their website.

To learn more about breast cancer, including how it is diagnosed and treated, visit our Health Library.
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